Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Clean and Soba

Potatoes (grilled, roasted, boiled, fried, whipped and smashed) are on the list. Pasta, of course. Rice, duh. Polenta (esp. from Ayers Creek Farm), definitely.

But soba? Not so much. It's not that there's anything inherently objectionable about it. I just hadn't had much experience with it up to this point.

We'd bought a beautiful salmon roast from Simon Sampson at the Hillsdale Farmers' Market (my choice for a Mother's Day outing) but, rummaging in the pantry, I realized we didn't have much in the way of my A-list carbs (see first paragraph). Then out of the corner of my eye I spied a package of soba noodles and, not wanting to make a trip to the store, thought that with the right dressing it might just make a perfect accompaniment when paired with the rapini I'd also bought at the market.

All it took was some searching online, and—voila!—a dressing was found. And maybe a new item to put on my A-list.

Soba Noodles with Rapini and Lime Dressing

1/4 c. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. mirin
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 jalapeño or serrano chile, seeded, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp. grated lime peel
Splash of Thai fish sauce

1 8-9 oz. package dried soba noodles
1 bunch rapini
1/4 red onion, chopped
Cilantro for garnish

In small mixing bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and stir to dissolve sugar.

Bring a small pot of water to boil and add washed, trimmed and chopped rapini. Cook till barely tender but still bright green and toothsome.

Bring large pot water to boil and add noodles. Simmer, uncovered, for 6 to 8 minutes, being careful not to overcook. Drain in colander and rinse with cold water. When thoroughly drained, put in serving bowl and mix in rapini. Pour dressing over top and toss to mix. Sprinkle with onion and cilantro. Optionally, noodles can also be served on a bed of rapini.

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